jamesewelch's Usagi Yojimbo #123 - The Death of Lord Hikiji review

One of the best issues of 2009

Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse vol 3) issue number 123 was nominated for the 2010 Eisner Award for "Best Single Issue (or One-Shot.) Usagi Yojimbo is well known for it's awards and nominations. In 2009, the series was nominated for 2009 Eisner Award for "Best Continuing Series". Over the years, Stan Sakai (one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet) has racked up over 20 nominations and a few other awards such as the Eisner Award for "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition." I don't know why there's not more Usagi Yojimbo fans or praise being given to a long running creator-owned series.
 

The Good

Miyamoto Usagi is a ronin (Samurai without a master). Across his wanderings to become a better swordsman and person, he occasionally runs into old friends such as Masaki. Masaki, and his servant Kenta, served lord Mifune - the same lord that Miyamoto Usagi served until lord Hikiji killed their master and split up the land and clans. Now, Masaki and Kenta has tracked lord Hikiji to a small village and are preparing to attack and kill the lord to avenge their former master. Usagi has grown past his revenge, but Masaki is determined to kill the lord and avenge his master.
 
The story, characters, and artwork are all great and work well for the story. The twist at the end of the story serves as a good story telling point of life lessons while it doesn't come off as a preachy moral tale. It's just a good samurai story with one swordsman that can't put the past behind him and another who's moved on in life.

The Bad

Nothing. 

Overall

It's easy to see why this was nominated for the Best Issue (or One-shot) award. This is a story about friendship, revenge, action, character, and heroes. The story is self-contained (you can read this without having to know much about the characters or background) and has a nice ending. This book is what comic books should be about, if you remove all of the glitz and sparkles of big name publishers. 
2 Comments
Posted by Trodorne

Characters of men? Characters of men like animals, men would suggest human male to which the word derived from. enough of my nit picking. interesting review. i mean its a story that it sounds like it would be worth me checking out. still not sure on buying. im all for action but its how characters that should be written into those types of settings. but still give a thumbs......up

Posted by jamesewelch

Yeah, "character of men" is a bit confusing. I was trying to say character (as an attribute of a person) rather than a noun, like the character of a person rather than a character in a comic book. Thanks.

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